D.C. Summer: Soggy and Green

Had to mow the lawn frequently this summer? It sure has been a wet summer in the nation’s capital and the numbers prove it.

Ten days remain in meteorological summer, which is defined as the three hottest months of the year, and the rainfall totals across the board have been much higher than average. Take the official reporting station for Washington, D.C., Reagan National Airport, for instance. Precipitation has totaled 15.55 inches, which is 6 inches about the average of 9.55”. For the entire summer, the average is 10.44 inches.

How does this compare to the wettest summers ever recorded in Washington? There have only been 28 summers since 1871 with higher rainfall totals. The wettest summer on record was 1906 with 27.05 inches of rain.

Notice in the graph below that besides a few wet summers in the early 2000s, the DC region hasn’t experienced such a soggy pattern since the early 1970s.

Not only has Washington been in a surplus but much of the Interstate 95 corridor is 6 to 12 inches more rainfall than average. Check out the 60-day rainfall departure below. The heaviest rain has fallen east of the Blue Ridge with much less totals west of the Blue Ridge along Interstate 81. The Potomac Highlands west of Hagerstown,{ }Md.,{ }have also{ }seen a rain surplus{ }since the start of summer.

A closer look at 2013 so far shows a precipitation surplus for much of the region, except the Cumberland Valley and far western Maryland mountains.

The latest drought monitor shows little change is expected through the end of November. This means the grass will continue to grow, the flowers will enjoy plenty of soaking showers and the available moisture at the surface will lead to fog on clear, cooler late-summer and fall mornings.